There is a colorful and quiet place you can go to experience beauty, peace, and nature right in the middle of downtown Chicago. Lurie Garden at Millennium Park abounds in flora, full of splendor with its unique array of perennial plants, grass shrubs, and trees native to North America.
Situated at the southeast end of the park, tall pines and other trees surround the garden, creating a tall wall. Once you walk past the gates, and pass the wonderful pool that borders the path, the gardens open up and you can see the many varieties of flowers thriving there.
I couldn’t help immediately grabbing my camera as I turned down the first rocky path to view the varieties of native plants, so bright, representing the many colors of summer. Very noticeable and somewhat incredible was the fact that the bucolic gardens I photographed were surrounded by the tall skyscrapers of Chicago in the backdrop.
The gardens are constantly changing throughout the year, as you will see different blooms with the change of seasons. Some of the summer varieties you can enjoy are: Ornamental Allium, Rusty Floxglove, Astilbe, and Cranesbill.
My favorites are the Purple Prairie Clover that grows in the full sun, Meadow Sage-Purple, Queen of the Prairie, and the big, fluffy White Blazing Star. See them here.
As I walked the paths, birds, butterflies, and bees flew all around, singing and drinking the delicious nectar, oblivious of all the visitors they shared their gardens with. I stopped to snap a picture of a beautiful butterfly having a late lunch. The butterfly didn’t seem to mind when I approached it, even as I closed in for a close-up, as it continued to dine.
For nature lovers, this is the perfect spot in town. Right off the beaten track. A place to slow down, relax for a bit of serenity. Lurie Gardens offers hands-on workshops from 10am to noon. On August 14 there will be one on Healing Properties of Native Plants.
Thursdays and Fridays over the summer months are “Ask Me” Days where you can ask volunteers questions about the history of the gardens, the design, which I find fascinating, and the types of plants from noon until 2:30 p.m..
Go on a 20 minute guided walk Sundays, from 10:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. to learn about the many native plants and get more details on the design of the gardens. “Raptors in the Garden, ” Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. will familiarize visitors with the bird of prey that lives there among the beautiful blossoms.
Lurie Garden opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 11 p.m. daily, except on holidays. For times and information, go here.
Spring and summer programs are here.
On my way out, I stopped to dip my feet in the pool that has a wooden bench that sits down a few inches from the sidewalk, so you step down to sit down. Some throw coins in the cool, clean water. It’s a great way to relieve your feet after walking the gardens on a hot summer day. After you shop on the Magnificent Mile, walk down to Lurie Garden. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy the surroundings.